Phil Ward started life in Darlington, County Durham. He has lived in Manchester, Liverpool and Hull before coming to Settle in the Yorkshire Dales.
His original professional qualifications were those of a Sports Teacher in Secondary Schools reflecting his life-long interest in sport of all kinds. His teaching career climbed through many changes and by the time he retired, because of his progressive deafness, he was Head of Maths in a large primary school.
He retrained in Remedial Therapy in 1984 when his sport-abused body refused to recover as quickly as when he was a young man. Initially he had not intended to practice professionally, but when he discovered how he could change people’s lives, he founded his own practice in Hull. His success was reflected in the ever-increasing number of patients wishing to see him and his much-appreciated work at Hull Ionians RUFC and Humberside Ladies Hockey Club. His desire for a less hectic life saw him refusing the offer of a position in professional Rugby League and brought him, and second wife Elaine, to Settle in 1994 where he founded the current practice.
Inevitably, it was not long before he became involved with North Ribblesdale RUFC! One of his most treasured moments is going out on to the pitch at Twickenham as Physio to North Ribb’ in 2004.
Phil’s love of sport has always been a dominant feature. He played soccer, cricket and rugby for school teams and later for various amateur clubs in the cities where he was living. He even made his come-back to rugby at 60 when he turned out for North Ribb Veterans. He was a successful and competitive squash player and in more recent years has become a mountaineer, rock climber and winning mountain marathon runner . He enjoys hill walking and has trekked in countries worldwide including an ascent of Mera Peak, Nepal.
Phil is a qualified Mountain Leader for both summer and winter work and holds an SPA enabling him to teach rock climbing. He has taken many groups out into the hills of the Dales, Lakes and Scotland, enthusing them with his love of the outdoors.
He has four children, seven grandchildren and a great-granddaughter variously living in Hull, Cardiff and Qatar. He fervently hopes to instil his passion for hills into the grandchildren and so far, three have climbed the Three Peaks (on different occasions) before the age of seven. One of his claimed life-time achievements to date, is surviving a weekend visit by two small granddaughters when Elaine was detained in Qatar and not present to supervise.
In over 30 years of full-time practice Phil has built an excellent reputation as a Remedial Therapist and has recently qualified as a NoHands Advanced Practitioner. He has an impressive list of patients many of whom are prepared to travel long distances to see him, even taking inter-continental flights on occasion. He has treated famous sportsmen, olympic athletes and paralympic competitors. His list includes stars of stage, screen and television, pop groups and international dancers as well as hundreds of ordinary men, women and a few children who appreciate his care.
When asked his philosophy of life, his reply was, “Keep going and don’t give in”.